Luong Lao Shi (龍老師) also known as Gramps, is a main character on American Dragon: Jake Long. He is Jake's maternal grandfather, trainer, and official Dragon Master, and was formerly the Chinese Dragon as a young man.
Lao Shi's personality is similar to stereotypical elderly masters portrayed in classic martial arts films. He is usually soft-spoken and intelligent, with a vast knowledge of magical creatures and items. While usually one to approach conflicts in a calm and rational manner, he is also prone to angry outbursts filled with strings of rambling in Mandarin or Cantonese, usually brought on by the mistakes or misbehavior of Jake.
As a teacher, Lao Shi usually utilizes the learning of lessons that have harsh consequences or unclear motives, as his assignments of menial household chores turned out to be vital combat techniques. He also believes in strict disciplinary measures, keeping close tabs on Jake's arrival for his daily Dragon Training, allowing for little if any time for Jake to relax, as well as administering punishments for the many mistakes caused by his pupil. Despite the seemingly harsh results, he has still been shown to be a very caring and understanding elder for his grandson, although at times he appears to care more for Jake's well-being and responsibilities rather than his happiness, as he once asked Rose to break up with Jake, seeing their relationship as a distraction.
Part of his frustration with Jake maybe because he sees a lot of himself in Jake. While having a more serious and cautious persona in his elder years, in his younger days Lao Shi was oddly similar to his own grandson. While fit and very skilled as a dragon, he was very arrogant and egotistical, preferring to work in his duties alone and never accepting the help of others, as he was very overconfident of his abilities and underestimating of his opponents. His defeat of the Dark Dragon while the Chinese Dragon in his youth caused him to shift into the personality that is seen in his older present-day self.
He admits he pushes Jake hard because he knows what kind of enemies Jake will face. However when he started pushing Jake too hard, it made him forget that while Jake is indeed the American Dragon, he was still a regular teenager who still wanted a normal life and needed some time off. Haley later scolds him for this and for not allowing his grandson anytime to relax, revealing how stressful the job is and what sacrifices he's had to make. In response, Lao Shi realizes his error and eases back on Jake's training, claiming it as a punishment while making it clear that Jake could spend some time as a normal teenager.
Lao Shi appears to be short, being not as tall as his grandson and has somewhat pointed ears. He has thinning white hair, thick eyebrows, and a Fu Manchu mustache with a "soul patch" beard. His usual clothing consists of a long-sleeved blue robe with yellow tips at the sleeves and hem.
In dragon form, Lao Shi has the long, serpentine body of a Chinese dragon with blue scales, white spine ridges, a pair of horns, and the same hair in his human form. He has green eyes which over time appear black.
Lao Shi is an elderly Dragon Master, formerly known as "The Chinese Dragon" in his youth until resigning his title and moving to New York City in his middle age. Much of his early childhood, teenage years, and age are unknown. His human form appears to be in his mid-60's to early-70's, however it is unclear how long a dragon truly lives.
The earliest known of Lao Shi's past showed his adult human form in the 1960's/70's as a swinging bachelor and protector of magical creatures in Hong Kong. It was at that time he met up with his current animal guardian, Fu Dog, who can create magical potions to assist on missions, forming their partnership which lasted to the present day.
At that time, Lao Shi also achieved a legendary feat: being the first dragon to ever defeat the menacing Dark Dragon where none before had survived opposing him. Between then and the mid-80's, Lao Shi moved to the United States and settled in New York City with his daughter Susan. It was then he opened the Canal Street Electronics Shop which, while regularly devoid of customers, has managed to stay in business ever since. Eventually, his daughter married a non-magical human, somewhat to his dismay, and they had two children, Jake and Haley, both of whom possess dragon powers.
Lao Shi and Fu Dog have since spent their time training Jake in the use of his powers and in the duties of being the first American Dragon. Lao Shi uses Canal Street Electronics as the main headquarters for all operations. He appears to have been a member of the Dragon Council himself as he has gone on Dragon Council Retreats and was sitting with the Council when Jake's powers were suspended along with his duties. After Jake and his entire family, Spud, Trixie, Fu, Rose, and all of the dragons of the world finally defeated the Dark Dragon, he admitted to Jake how very proud he was to be his Dragon Master.
Talents, Interests, and Abilities
Not much has been mentioned of Lao Shi's leisure activities, as he spends much of his time training Jake, dealing in magical world affairs, or running his shop. He is a Dragon Master who teaches Jake the necessary skills in becoming a protector of magical creatures. Lao Shi's attempts at training Jake can, at times, cause more damage than help. However, Jake learns to put to use the skills which are essential in being the American Dragon.
The most prominent interests of Lao Shi have been expressed in his music preferences. In his youth, as well as in his dreams. He used his dancing skills to gather information on the whereabouts of the Dark Dragon from a source who would only relay it after being defeated in a dance-off. Lao Shi also prefers the music of artist Elvis Kamehameha; Rick Astley and his hula music, particularly his single "The Hubba Hubba Hula". Lao has a fond interest in karaoke.
- Main article: Dragons (Jake Long Universe)
As a dragon, Lao Shi possesses the natural skills seen by dragons such as Jake but has not exhibited all of the same abilities. For the abilities he has exhibited, he has naturally shown a more controlled or sometimes even more powerful use of them than his grandson, such as the doppelganger technique. In addition to his powers, he also exhibits great skills in combat. In the past he was able to dispatch two Huntsclan masters with ease, and displays great skill in evasive maneuvers most likely due to his long, slender physique normally exhibited by Asian dragons. Lao Shi's dragon form resembles the Asian Lung, the largest dragon.
Like Jake, Lao Shi has had his own conflicts with others.
Despite his lonely status, Lao Shi has had quite a few love interests and relationships with different women.
- Councilor Chang: In his youth, Lao Shi was romantically interested in Chang back in the 1970s, which she reciprocated for a while, evidenced through a rather humorous exchange of cheesy banter. Chang quickly was over any feelings she had for him, keeping it as basically a relationship restricted as members of the Dragon Council. Their relationship as "old friends" was soon dashed, though as she was revealed to be an associate of the Dark Dragon, and willingly tried to help in Lao Shi's defeat against him. That plan, however, failed.
- Dolores Derceto: Lao Shi had a short romantic relationship with Jake's middle school principal, Principal Derceto. She happened upon him unexpectedly when attempting to discuss Jake's school issues with his parents, and their relationship bloomed from there. It was soon discovered that Derceto was actually an undercover mermaid detective from the East River underwater city, Mermopolis, sent to investigate the whereabouts of an escaped Kelpie. She believed Jake to be the Kelpie, explaining his problems in school. The beast was soon apprehended, and Derceto was forced to take a new, undisclosed undercover assignment, forcing her to end the relationship with Lao Shi.
- Mrs. Hasagawa: Another brief relationship for Lao Shi, occurred in the crossover episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series, where the two were involved in a romantic montage of various small events. This relationship soon ended as Lao Shi and the others had to go back home to New York at the episode's end.
Mentioned as far back, Lao Shi was the first dragon ever to defeat the Dark Dragon, the #1 Threat to the Magical World. These events were eventually elaborated, showing how his fateful fight with the villain ultimately shaped him into the person he is today. Years after his fight (and as his grandson began to develop his dragon powers), he believed that the Dark Dragon might return one day to seek vengeance upon him and his kin. In order to prepare Jake for any encounters he might have with him, he insisted to the Dragon Council that he train Jake himself—a method usually forbidden, as the Council has a specific rule forbidding the training of family members. Despite Jake's irresponsible behavior in the eyes of the Council, Lao Shi has been able to maintain his status as Jake's Dragon Master. His proposal even proved to be effective, as Jake was able to survive (and overcome) the two encounters he's had with the Dark Dragon.
Taking place in 1986, it's shown that Lao Shi originally was displeased by the idea of his teenage daughter, Susan (whose dragon powers skipped her generation), dating a non-magical human, Jonathan (her future husband and father of Jake and Haley). It was unclear whether he simply disliked him because of his mortal status, or because of his clumsy, ridiculous nature (it's hinted that it was both), but either way,he was very pleased when he heard the news of Jonathan breaking up with Susan (due to the miscalculated actions of a time-traveling Jake). He eventually came to accept Susan's love of Jonathan (even helping to rescue him after being captured by the Huntsclan), and allowed them to continue dating. In the current day of the series, not much interaction has been seen between Lao Shi and Jonathan. Eventually, they do end up spending a long road trip to Key West, Florida together (in an attempt to delay Jonathan from getting to Susan's family reunion and finding out about the Dragon powers). He used the excuse that he was afraid to fly. After getting lost due to Lao Shi's deliberate misleading of the map (he was, after all, holding the map upside down—Mobile, AL is not south of Key West) and several verbal confrontations and a karaoke duet, they seem to become rather good pals in the end. He even shows some respect for him, calling him courageous and honest and convincing Jake that his father is a good man to look up to.
Lao Shi seems very proud of Rose for setting Jake free after he was captured by her. However, he is unsure whether or not Rose is truly loyal. Later, he tells Rose to break up with Jake because Jake's love for her is distracting him. Since the Huntsclan taught her that a distracted dragon is a slain dragon, she complies and breaks up with Jake.
- The name, Luong Lao Shi, appears to be a Romanized translation of the Chinese words for "dragon" and "teacher" (老師). Though 老 can be used as a term of respect for an old, wise, and elder person, which would make Shi Jake's grandfather's given name.
- In Season One, he is often seen wearing sandals but sometimes goes barefoot. Now in Season Two, he seems to go barefoot even outdoors. This may reflect on his "foot problems".
- Being a depiction of a traditional Chinese dragon, he possesses no wings but is still capable of flight.
- Old School Training
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